Good practice to reduce inconvenience caused by tourist groups

Tourist groups are good for the city’s economy but can cause inconvenience for local residents, particularly in busy areas. That means noise, hampering mobility or access to shops and other establishments. In order to minimise these negative effects, an agreement on good practice has been signed with tour guide associations and is a first step in regulating the sector.

In all, a sixteen-point code of good practice has been set out to maintain a balance with everyday life, to make tourist resources sustainable in public spaces, to guarantee safety and mobility and to promote the role of guides as guarantors of the quality of the city.

The Councillor for Enterprise and Tourism, Agustí Colom, asserted: “This agreement highlights the work of tourist guides”, confirming that the move is “a first step in putting together the necessary regulations to guarantee it is fulfilled”.

Two of the most notable measures involve the use of radio controlled systems allowing guides to give explanations to groups silently, thus reducing noise pollution, and limits on the volume of tourist groups, adapting to the space available at places visited.

The declaration will be extended to all tour operators organising free tours in the city so that they can adopt the measures and help to make Barcelona a more sustainable destination.

Tourism and commerce recover well following the attack

The first report on the effects of the attack on La Rambla in the thirty days afterwards show a recovery which was practically immediate, both in terms of tourism and commerce. The report also shows that Barcelona has recovered quicker than other cities which have suffered attacks recently.

Commercial activity in the vicinity of La Rambla suffered a negative impact in the first few days, though there has not been a generalised fall in sales, while hotel reservations and commercial tourist activity has been practically unaffected.

Hotel booking cancellations following the attack on 17 August mainly occurred over the first three days, accounting for 20% of the total, gradually recovering thereafter and regaining growth trends recorded since the start of the year. Flight bookings to Barcelona dropped 20% from locations abroad and 11% from the rest of Spain, recovering four weeks after the attack, while Paris needed a year and London two months.

Internal movement in the city has been barely affected and no major events have been postponed, neither fairs nor congresses programmed for the weeks after 17 August.